Blair's Britain, Case Number 187467362 -

Fine for binning rubbish

A TOWN hall chief today promised to investigate after a man was fined £50 for throwing his junk mail in a street litter bin.

Baffled Andy Tierney blasted council busybodies over his £50 litter bin fine, saying: “I did the right thing.”

He vowed to fight the pompous fixed penalty notice, issued for dumping two junk mail letters.

And today Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council chief executive Steve Atkinson promised the authority would look into whether it had been too officious.

He said he would personally ensure Mr Tierney was spared a fine if his only offence was to throw away two letters.

Mr Atkinson added: “There is evidence that there was some junk mail in a bag in a litter bin.

“If the evidence does not stack up and we are potentially guilty of
over-reaction then we need to deal with it in the right way.

“If we have over-reacted we will hold our hands up and acknowledge it.”

It accused him of committing “an offence under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990”. It continued: “Domestic refuse from your property was dumped into a street litter bin . . . the fixed penalty is £50.”

The council classes letters as “domestic litter”, which should not be dropped in public street bins.

Warehouseman Andy, 24, said: “How on earth can they fine me for being tidy? It’s absolute madness.

“I could have easily chucked those letters on the ground, but I put them in the bin. What has happened is a joke. The council is barmy.

“I never thought you could be fined for putting rubbish in a bin — that’s what they’re there for.”

Andy was walking from his front door to his car when his postman handed him the junk mail. He opened both letters as he strolled — then dumped them in the bin on a lamppost.

But council officials traced him from the addresses on the envelopes and issued the penalty.

The heavy-handed council letter threatened Andy with further action and a conviction if he does not pay within 14 days. But Andy, of Hinckley, Leicestershire, insisted: “There’s absolutely no way I’m paying up.

“You get fined for chucking rubbish on the ground. You get fined for chucking rubbish in the bin. So what exactly are you supposed to do?”

“To me ‘domestic refuse’ is household stuff like potato peelings and tin cans.

“Besides, those letters didn’t even enter my house.”

Hinckley and Bosworth Council last night DEFENDED their action and denied they were being petty.

A spokesman said: “A fixed penalty notice is served to people who we believe have committed an offence.

“Our litter bins are there to keep streets tidy, as they enable the public to deposit small amounts of litter. They are not provided for household waste.”

But local councillor Julie Price said: “It seems very severe. I would prefer it if there was a warning first.” She said she would ask the authority to put warning signs on bins.